A BOY AND HIS RIFLE PART III (THE REMINGTON MODEL 514)

Remington  introduced the  Model 514 in April 1948 as  cheaper alternative to the Model 510  other 500 series rimfires and a competitor of the excellent Winchester Model 67.

“The model 514 is a worthy companion to the model 510, but being slightly shorter and lighter-it is especially suitable for the small boy who is just starting to shoot.”

The 514 is one of what seems like a million different models and makes of .22 rimfire rifles made from the dating back to the dinosaurs.   It is one of the 5xx series models of guns put out by Remington in days when boys could walk  out in the woods and shoot at anything much he felt like shooting at and no one thought much about it.  On the contrary, they may have asked him to come over on a summer evening and shoot that ground hog that has been eating up the tomatoes in the backyard.    Try that now a days.

The rifles of this same basic formula were  clearly markets  to kids but  I have always wondered   just how many were bought for boys and how many were bought by grown men, late teens and seasoned citizens for the pleasure that comes with shooting a rimfire sporter.

There is just something about these vintage bolt action 22s.   Something that  can’t be replicated with a 10/22 or any  modern made rimfire rifle.    I don’t know what it is and it’s hard to even explain.    I have  rarely ever shot a modern rimfire rifle that would be the equivalent of the old rifles  that is any where near as accuracte or made as well.    In fact that may be a mistake.  Those old guns, though made for cheap boys rifles back then, would be sold as a higher priced special  prestige grade model if brought out today.

The 514 is a simple single shot bolt action rifle capable of being taken down for transport or storage with the single  bolt in the bottom of the stock.   Having no magazine like other models, it has a solid receiver.   The three lug safety on the rear is rotated to active and disengage the safety with one lug with a red marking to indicate safe or fire.   Models did not come from the factory drilled and tapped for scope mounting bases. Unfortunately a bubba gunsmith got ahold of this rifle long before I did.   Whoever it is didn’t realize the requirement for mounting bases on the 514  was for two holes side by side and not in line down the bore axis. The bright spark  apparently was going to put two holes on the front and rear of the receiver and got half into it before realizing there ain’t enough room on the rear portion he so poorly chose for the  rear  position. I don’t think you need me to point out where the two rear holes should have been drilled..   No problem though as I never had intention of using one of these with an optic.

No, when it comes to these old .22s, I stick to the iron sights.  Some models of the 514 came with a nice little rear peep sight for more precise target work.   This one has the more common open sights. The style seen on countless  hunting rifles. Not the easiest to use for people use to peep sights but capable of fine shooting.

Accuracy  is as good and honestly probably better than most moden rimfire rifles.   The two groups were fired at 25 yards using  ammo that is nothing special. Just bulk Federal  solid lead.

These guns are getting more expensive to buy every year.   Twenty years ago it was not hard to find any old rimfire bolt action rifle and  not pay  much over 100 yankee green backs for it.   Those days are gone sad to say.  Not surprising. Everything made longer ago that 5 years seems to be rising in price.    If you  want a plinker 22 rifle to carry in the woods or teach your kid I  would chase down one of these before I ever thought about buying a new made rimfire.

 

 

9 thoughts on “A BOY AND HIS RIFLE PART III (THE REMINGTON MODEL 514)

    • You got me thinking. When I was a kid , guns like that remington is the kind of rifles we shot. I spent a lot of times on the back mountain shooting at ground squirrels with a 22. But now, a boy is likely to be using something like the S&W MP 22 remfire ,AR15. I really like that. I really like that now kids learn on something very much like the service rifle. But I also feel a little melancholy that the days of a boy roaming the woods with a winchester model 69A are pretty much over. I don’t know why either. I very much love the AR15 , and the more people use them and grow up with them the better. But I guess I cant help feeling a little bit like the younger generations will miss out on having and learning with those fine old bolt action rimfires.

  1. My first rifle that I learned on was a 10/22. Pop bought it new for me as Christmas present.

    Had a couple of rifles that were passed down from Granddaddy, but that was my first rifle that was mine.

    So, cross generational platform there. Semi-auto, but with classic sporting stylings.

    • I never really had one “first rifle” onec I got a certain age I was given several by Dad, a .410 bolt action shotgun, a 22 rimfire, a model 94 that I dont recall every actually shooting. My first handgun I owned was a M1911 surplus Colt. The first handgun I ever shot was a M1911 at age 9.

  2. I love the older rifles like this.I have a 1906 Savage bolt action single .22,great little rifle passed down thru the family.

    I also have a Sheridan Blue Streak from the 60’s me dad bought and now mine,a excellent air rifle and for most part can keep up with the Savage 100 yards or less easily.

  3. Many of these “economy” (meaning “inexpensive in their day”) rifles of old actually had very nice barrels on them.

    eg, the Mossberg .22’s, both bolt and semi-auto, hand hand-lapped barrels. Think about that for a moment: today, you pay big bucks to get a hand-lapped custom barrel. Back then, the labor cost was low enough that there were people pushing laps through bores all day long on the production line for these little rifles.

    The big differences between something like a 514 and a (eg) Model 37 were:

    – the trigger mechanism – most of these ‘economy’ grade rifles had crude, but effective, singe-stage triggers.

    – the barrel profile would be slimmer, and sometimes shorter.

    – The wood would be of lower grade

    – and the sights would typically be buckhorn or rudimentary peep as opposed to globe-and-aperture match sights.

    But the quality of the rifling and the bore finish would often be very similar between the ‘economy’ grades and the ‘match’ grade .22’s in those days.

    Today, we’re left with hammer-forged barrels, crude triggers designed by clowns with a “JD” after their name and semi-auto blowback actions instead of a bolt. Blowback semi-autos are cheaper and easier to make than a bolt action.

    I firmly believe that I can train a better shooter on a single-shot bolt action than I can on a semi-auto. There’s something focusing about not having a rapid follow-up capability – ie, the mind focuses better because there won’t be a quick second attempt.

    • I agree. No one will ever make me believe that you can train some one to be a better shooter on a semi auto when starting them off. Since you brought up hammer forged barrels. I still get a chuckle when companies make a big deal about their ultra accurate high quality hammer forged barrels! thanks to marketing you would think hammer forged barrels are the end all be all and I still recall a time when HF was the choice for cheap mass produced stuff

      • It’s like the marketing to peddle painted guns – xxxx-kote, etc.

        There’s no ceramic in these finishes. It’s just matte appliance paint in pretty colors, baked-on. It’s not even as good as the powder coating on cattle panels.

        Hammer-forged barrels are the rage with manufactures because they can do the bore to diameter (eliminating the drill & ream step), the rifling (eliminating the button or broach rifling for most of them) and the chamber all at once. The mandrel for the bore has the rifling, the chamber, the whole deal on it, and they just crush a piece of 4140 or 416 down on the mandrel, then pull it out. Whammo! They don’t even need to polish the bore, because there are no machining marks.

        The downside is that there is now a LOT of stress bound up in that barrel. So they cryo-treat the barrel. They’d love for you to believe that this relieves all the stress – but it doesn’t. It removes a lot of the worst stress, but there’s still more stresses packed into that tube than there were when they started. As the barrel heats up, your POI will change as the stresses shift.

        It’s difficult to explain these things to modern gun buyers who have been given educations completely lacking in anything mechanical or scientific.

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